Sometimes parenting feels like one mistake after another, many of us feel like we don’t know what we are doing. The good news is we are all in the same boat and that we can all learn from one another’s mistakes.

We all lie sometimes.

My tween son was lecturing me about how there is no such thing as an acceptable lie and he is right, but we many of us have lied to our children. Often it is not something we set out do to but in the heat of the moment, or our desperate need to stop a tantrum we lie. I am not giving you a free pass to keep doing it but I do understand.

Sometimes being honest with your child is more affective and they will learn to understand that sometimes life just isn’t a whole lot of fun but that it’s ok.

Give in

When it comes to discipline, giving in only sets you back. You must stand your ground even when their screams threaten to burst your ear drums or they declare they will hate you forever.

It is, for me, one of the hardest discipline issues to get right even after having four kids. My husband and I still high five ourselves when we successfully manage to stand our ground! Removing yourself from the situation does help to you to maintain your composure.

Bribe once too often

My girls never reacted to bribery of any sort but my boys never forgot! They may have forgotten in the moment but a day or two later they would remind me that I had promised them a double scoop ice cream and a flake if they had a bath.

Bribery does have a place and it does work but used too often it can become a tool your little angel uses to manipulate you (yes your sweet child is capable of manipulation.)

So, keep it in your bag of tricks for those days nothing else seems like it is going to work.

Practice what you preach.

We all know this; our kids absorb everything we do. Every single thing. Even if we tell them to put their clothes in the hamper, if we don’t they aren’t likely too. So be aware of the actions you are displaying, make sure that they are the same as those you are teaching your child.

Some evenings I want to sit on the couch and eat my dinner but my husband feels we need to eat meals at the table so, unless the kids are out, I make sure we all sit at the table and eat.

Yell, a lot loudly!

All my kids switch off completely when I start yelling. The boys retreat and Emma starts fighting back, more defiant.

It is incredibly hard some days when they are acting out, you are tired and just trying to get dinner cooked without having to referee a million fights over who is the real owner of the green loom band.

Yelling and losing control, even just a little, doesn’t help. Well it may make you feel a little better to get it out but it won’t calm the situation so instead, remove yourself. Go for a walk in the garden or sit in the bathroom with the door closed for a few minutes to regain control.

Learn your kid’s triggers

Bad behaviour in younger kids is often a result of something that has happened, they may be over tired or even hungry.

Recently we got home late and I had an urgent work commitment that had to be done immediately, it meant they were left to play for a bit. It all went well until it didn’t, they were over tired and the smallest thing set both younger two off and I suddenly had two hysterical kids refusing to do anything. In hindsight, I should have put them to bed before I started working.

You know your child and you know when they are going to cross over, be on the lookout for the signs and try to avoid it at all costs.

Disciplining children is hard, some days it feels like it is too hard but it will pay off. The hard work, the hidden hours in the bathroom, the mistakes and the triumphs, will all pay off, I promise you.

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9 Responses

  1. Standing your ground can often be difficult and I agree when it is done, it’s reason to pay yourself in the back. As they become teenagers, it is equally important. I also think there’s a time when lying is needed in order to avoid further chaos.

  2. parenting is so hard and some people do well in some areas than others. these are really good tips for every parent. I think learning your kid’s triggers and learning yours are a great way to catch/fix something before it occurs.

  3. I have been watching Supernanny a lot recently and I saw a lot of these behaviors in that shpw. Parenting is not hard if you know what to do (it i easy to say this to do it but I have been teaching kids for 10 years and have seen all kinds of kids).

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